The chairman of the board of directors, Babatunde Kasali informed shareholders that the bank grew it gross earnings from N54.36billion in 2016 to N65.27billion in 2017.
Speaking at the meeting, foremost shareholder activist, sir Sunny Nwosu commended the Bank for the result recorded in the year under review, adding that he has forwarded a paper to the management on the way forward.
The Bank had recently announced a 5.02% growth in earnings for Q1’2018 to
N16.07 billion, from N15.28 billion in Q1’2017.
According to the Bank, the increase was supported by a 21.07% growth in non-interest income to
N3.43 billion (Q1’2017; N2.83 billion), led by a 424.77% growth in net trading income. Profit before Tax (PBT) grew to N0.88 billion (Q1’2017; N0.85 billion), notwithstanding the increase in impairment charges for the period.
The Bank also achieved a deposit growth of 20.29% to
N306.09 billion (Dec. 2017; N254.46 billion) while interest expense declined by 1.92% from N8.47 billion in Q1’2017 to N8.31 billion in Q1’2018, resulting from the re-pricing of deposits and low-cost funding from increased accounts openings.
Also within the period, the Bank’s digital journey elicits excitement and accolades from many corners as the Bank was named the Best Digital Bank in Africa at the 2018 Asian Bankers Award.
The Managing Director of Wema Bank Plc, Mr Olusegun Oloketuyi, at the AGM on Wednesday assured shareholders of the payment of dividend very soon.
He explained that the financial institution has settled its debt with the Central Bank of Nigeria and put other modalities in place for growth and more expansion.
He assured them that the approval of the utilization of the Share premium capital to clear the deficits in the bank’s retained earnings, will create the pathway for guaranteeing dividend payments in subsequent years.
The Bank also recorded significant growth in partnerships, particularly in Agency Banking. As at March 2018, the number of agents had increased by 126.52%across 95 locations within the country. “We remain focused, leveraging our existing platforms and in-built capabilities in lowering our cost of service and growing our share of the market,” Oloketuyi explained.
“As the domestic economy improves, though fraught with global uncertainties, we recognize opportunities amongst key sectors,” he added. As a result, the Bank secured credit lines of $15 million and
N7.3 billion from the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) respectively. These funds will help bolster the Bank’s strategic vision of supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) being the panacea to long-term economic growth.
Mr Oloketuyi noted that though the bank would continue to develop tech-driven platforms and support digital initiatives that prioritize the needs of its customers, Wema would continue to employ a mixed strategy; complementing the rapid expansion of its branch network with an aggressive enhancement of the digital capabilities.
During the first quarter of 2018, the Bank expanded to the Southeast, opening its newest branch is Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State.
“The day we begin to give you what you want (dividend),there will be no going back. Very soon we will be in a position to give you what you want. No management or board want to come to Annual General Meeting (AGM) and not pay dividend.”
With those words on Wednesday in Lagos,